British bank weighs settling Iran laundering probe

August 13, 2012 14:20


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NEW YORK/LONDON - British bank Standard Chartered is hoping to reach a settlement within days over charges it hid transactions tied to Iran and is set to resume talks with US regulators on Monday, sources familiar with the situation said.

The London-based bank's US legal team have got as far as discussing an amount with regulators, indicating progress has been made before a Wednesday deadline, the sources told Reuters.

Standard Chartered could be forced to pay a fine of up to $1 billion to settle the charges, analysts said last week, although there has been speculation that this figure could be higher to assuage the New York banking regulator pressing the case

New York's Department of Financial Services alleged last week that Standard Chartered hid transactions tied to Iran and the regulator's head, Benjamin Lawsky, ordered the bank to explain why it should not lose its license at a hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

"It looks like, rather than fight this in the courts, they're looking to resolve this, hopefully ahead of Wednesday," said Investec analyst Vivek Raja.

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